16-58. Intermission: Behind the Incidents
"Kukuku, with this I am now one step closer to realizing my ambitions."
A black crystal pillar is emitting an eerie light in front of the chuckling Hero Fuu.
And beyond the altar adorned with the black crystal pillar, a skeletal structure like that of a bleached human skeleton is hanging from the ceiling in the darkness.
Though, from its size, it's clearly not a human skeleton.
Since its head has bull-like horns on both sides, it doesn't seem to be the commonly known giant either.
Size-wise, it can't be minotaur either.
"Fuu-han, what's that thing?"
Hero Fuu literally jumped up in a surprise at the voice that came from behind him.
While looking around restlessly like some kind of suspicious person, he averts his eyes away from the small man who called out to him.
"T-this, this is, err, you see..."
Hero Fuu glanced at the huge skeleton for an instant as he searched for an excuse, but he shut his mouth up when he noticed the man was looking at the crystal pillar.
"Hey hey, what's this?"
The small man smiles gently, but his eyes aren't laughing.
"T-th-this is... <<Miasma Crystal>>."
The small man comes closer and stares hard at the black crystal pillar while circling around it.
"Soo, what were you trying to do with it?"
Hero Fuu averted his eyes.
"T-turn... weaklings into undead, lots of them."
"Hou? So like 『Strength in numbers, big bro』 eh."
Hero's Fuu's eyes brightened for an instant to hear a line that bore a close resemblance to a line by the third son character's in a certain robot anime, but his expression froze when he was met with the small man's brutal smile as he lifted his face.
"Specifically, how many can you produce?"
"A-as many as I want, a-as long as there's mana."
"Coz this black crystal supplies the miasma?"
"It's not crystal! It's Miasma--"
Hero Fuu reflexively flared up, but then he swallowed down his words when he saw the small man putting up a serious look.
"Soo tell me. Can you only mass produce skeleton and zombies with it?"
"Lies are a no no, okay."
Hero Fuu bit his lips and stopped trying to tell the lie when the small man told him that.
"That Miasma Crystal has been carved with soul magic 『Animate Undead』 ain't it? It works on anything so long it's dead no?"
Hero Fuu keeps his silent.
"Hey, tell me. It can create anything no?"
"T-that's right. Headless Knights, and 『Skeleton Knights』, n-not only those. If you can get your hands on dying souls, it can even create, Wraith Knights."
"So then, you're tryin' to move that thing too?"
The small man said so while gazing at the giant skeleton hanging in the darkness.
The small man laughed out loud at the silent Hero Fuu.
"Niice, as expected of Hero Fuu, yea. I ain't ever seen a hero as black as you. Yer' no different than that broken founder hero, yea."
The small man stroke the Miasma Crystal's smooth surface while muttering something that makes it sounds like he's acquainted with the founder hero.
"By the way, Fuu-han. How many of this thing can you mass produce?"
"M-mass produce? T-t-that one needs lots of mi-miasma on top of mana so--"
"--Impossible. Is not the word I want to hear."
"B-but without miasma..."
The small man took many Grudge Pots and Wicked Jars out of Item Box and put them on the floor.
"Ain't me a clever boss? They were gathered by the mosquitoes Fuu-han gave me last time. If we just had Shiga Kingdom's Chalice, we coulda made an Evil Philosophy tho'--"
Hero Fuu who recalled about [Evil Philosophy] from a book turned a look full of expectations at the man.
If he had that, forget about mass producing lesser undead soldiers, he could even regain the original form of the hanging skeleton behind him.
"Sorry to get your hopes up, but that place's a no no."
The small man clowned around while waving his hands, "Have mercy on me."
"We could have unsealed Milord-san like right now if we just had a big Evil Philosophy, but that place's Irregular's stronghold and boundary line, we'd be heading straight to the bad end if we got close there."
The small man changed the topic without really answering Hero Fuu.
"So, with this much pure miasma, how many soldiers can this Miasma Crystal create?"
"I-If you're fine with weaklings, around 10,000 a day. F-for those that can fight on par with oldinary, ordinary knights, around 300 units a day is doable."
"Hmmm. One of this is good for 10 skilled Soul Magicians huh... That's pretty niice."
The small man nodded in satisfaction to hear Hero Fuu's reply.
"By the way, can you make more of this Miasma Crystal?"
"I-I can... but. T-this much, miasma is not enough... I-I can't make more Miasma Crystal w-without this much."
"That so. Well, I've got an idea on how to get more miasma. We'd do the entire world next if the Vampire Mosquito experiments went well."
"D-don't tell me... I-Indiscriminately?"
"That right. Multiple terror acts in the entire world all at once! We'll paint the whole world in terror, despair and slaughter."
Hero Fuu inched back while looking frightened as the small man began to dance like a clown.
"I-if you do that... The world will end..."
"Nay nay, it ain't gonna be. That's what heroes are for. That's what Saga Empire is for."
"If it did get destroyed, I ain't get to play for awhile no? I'm gonna enjoy it without going too far this time, and stop once we've got plenty of miasma in Grudge Pots and Wicked Jars yeap."
The small man boasted, "Stoppin' 'rite before it's completely destroyed is how pros do their job."
"Besides, our main goal this time is to undo the seal binding Milord-san, that why we're polluting the world, collecting miasma."
"Yeap, once Milord-san's seal comes undone, it's time to party. With Milord-san leading, army of hell gonna march into God's Realm and wreak havoc there. Aah... can't wait for it. So long Milord-san is around, I can keep getting back from hell, and fighting gods and apostles to death."
Hero Fuu who realized that the small man was not joking around is trembling with a pale face.
His eyes was frantically looking for a way to get out of this place.
"No need to look so worried there. So long you ain't gonna stand in ma way, I ain't gonna kill you. There's that agreement too, gotta try to not lay my hands on those connected to loli goddess as much as possible."
Hero Fuu could only frantically nod with a forced smile at the small man who said that with an extremely un-relieving face.
After looking at him in satisfaction, the small man floated out a fiendish smile at the frightened Hero Fuu while saying, "Yea, loli goddess herself is necessary 'fter all."
"Oops, that took long 'nuff. Well then, Fuu-han, I'm gonna keep bringing ya Grudge Pots and Wicked Jars full of miasma, make lotsa of those Miasma Crystals for me m'kay."
Without waiting for Hero Fuu's response, the small man turned back and went away while waving his hand.
<TLN: If you're reading this novel at any other site than Sousetsuka .com you might be reading an unedited, uncorrected version of the novel.>
"Touya-sama, thank you for your hard work today as well."
A bald boy who came back from the alchemy store part of the building was greeted by a plain-looking girl.
She looks like a new wife welcoming a gallant boy clad in store-use white robe.
"Would you like dinner first? Or bath first? O-or maybe... w-wo-would you like me instead!"
The plain-looking girl made some suspicious-looking movements while waving her hands and screaming 'Kyaa' happily.
The boy gazed at the girl for a while and then suddenly looked up at a nearby window.
『Letter, brought, here』
A human-faced crow perching on the window frame skillfully untied a letter on its leg, dropped it inside the room and disappeared into gray smoke.
"It's gone--was that a summoned bird?"
"That's likely the case."
After picking up the letter and reading over it, the boy let the letter touch a ring adorned with a fire crystal on his finger, then it turned into ash in an instant.
"...Is that from Chief?"
"Yeah, that's right."
To be more exact, it was from one of umbrella organizations their Chief created, but the boy affirmed without going into detail.
"It's progressing well."
"--Well? Is there some kind of plan secretly going places?"
Were we not spending our times in obscurity after leaving it behind in order to prevent a calamity caused by Irregular--is what's written on the face of the plain-looking girl as she looks at the boy.
"Correct. Our turn is still yet to come, but right before the final phase, we will send a huge number of demons and mercenaries at locations related to Irregular as a diversion."
The plain-looking girl nodded as she listened to the boy.
"In order to ascertain that phase, we will soon go to Shiga Kingdom under the pretext of a pleasure trip."
"Pleasure trip--d-does that mean, it's honey moon isn't it! No, it must be honey moon! Isn't it right, Touya-sama!"
"...Do you think it would deceive Irregular better than a mere pleasure trip?"
The boy replied to the high tension girl while sounding a bit overwhelmed.
"That's right! Of course it would! Okay then, I'm going to the library to collect books about Shiga Kingdom and draft up a plan!"
With tired eyes, the boy sees off the plain-looking girl who rushed out in a hurry.
The boy who heard an excited scream from afar, "Hyahhoo! Honey moon with Touya-samaaaaaa!", could only go back to his room while sighing geez.
『Master, you have a plan to visit umbrella organization [Heart of Gold] today. Please get ready to depart soon.』
At his hiding place, the small man who was making revisions on the plan in case they have the Miasma Crystal lifted his face at a secretary homonculus that had few inflections.
"That time already eh... Where's this 『Heart of Gold』 again ey?"
『Their headquarters are located in Kariswolk City, also known as [Sage's Tower] the scholarship city. Master is visiting there in order to check on the final test of the [Vampire Mosquito] plan.』
The small man stood up from his seat while beating his waist.
"I'd have it easy if I had plain girl-chan's teleportation, but Irregular's gone and put his marks on 'em."
He grumbled to no one in particular while doing a stretch.
"It's annoying, but got no choice but to go there myself."
『Master, requesting permission to offer my opinions.』
The small man looked a bit surprised to hear the secretary homonculus who usually hid herself in the shadow.
"What? Just say it."
『The main temple of God Karion is located in Kariswolk City. I suggest Master to postpone your visitation this time as there is a high probability that the [Irregular] is there to take on the god's trial.』
"Whoa, that's baaad."
After saying that, the small man puts his hand on his chin and ponders.
"Sorry but can ya go to the lab and take a few homonculus specialized in infiltration out of their cylinders."
After making sure that the secretary homonculus has left, the small man takes out a purple summoning gem from [Inventory].
He poured mana into the summoning gem and threw it down on the ground, afterward a purple magic circle appeared around the gem then an ultramarine colored demon showed itself up in the center.
It's a huge demon in military uniform carrying a blade spear.
"Ciao Ultramine, sorry but I got something for you to do."
"I shall obey everything my summoner says dearimasu."
After confirming that the ultramarine demon has lowered its head and given its consent, the small man continues.
"Go to Parion Holy Land and destroy the main temple there. Make sure to turn every building into wasteland, and clean-up all the higher ups including the current pope."
Despite saying that he's "not gonna lay his hands on those related to loli goddess as much as possible", there was nary a hint of hesitation in the small man's words to kill priests of Parion Main Temple.
"It shall be done dearimasu."
"Oh and also, please secure the symbol of main temples, the Sacred Treasure there 'kay."
"Sacred Treasure is it dearimasuka..."
The ultramarine demon who had been acting confident up until now expressed disapproval for the first time.
Demons must find sacred Treasures of the seven pillar gods deplorable.
"Master I have brought five homonculus with me."
"Nice timing yea. And you've administered correction drug on 'em too. Means they can sortie' out anytime ey."
After appraising the five homonculus for infiltration the secretary homonculus brought, the small man nodded in satisfaction and took three [Magic Bags] from the still-open [Inventory].
"These guys will be in charge of securing the Sacred Treasure, so take 'em along with you to Parion Holy Land. They'll act separately from you, so you can go back once yer' done with the destroyin'."
After seeing off the demon disappearing into its own sub-space along with the three homonculus wrapped in its barrier, the small man started his preparations to depart himself.
"Master, you intend to divert Irregular's attention to the greater demon, and use that chance to hold the meeting, don't you."
"That 'rite. Not sure if Irregular would notice it tho', so I've prepared about 2-3 camouflages s'well."
After saying that, the small man tests out several stealth skills until the time of appointment.
"Man, this stuff is really tiring. Even though it can delude even Dog-head and Wild Boar King and their sharp intuitions, I cannae' hold it fer' long, gotta, like, make it easier to use..."
"Master, in order to prevent the tomfoolery of getting yourself detected by Irregular, you should perfect it, so I propose."
The small man gave an unenthusiastic reply to the serious secretary homonculus.
"Imma just use recognition inhibition artifact along with it aand done, should be a flawless victory."
After equipping several equipment taken from [Inventory], and using multiple layers of tricks, the small man departed his hideout toward Kariswolk City.
Unaware of the trap laid out by the aforementioned Irregular waiting for him...
※ Next update is planned for 8/12